Moms of boys: whether you have one boy or more, keep these tips in mind as you raise kind, curious, and confident kids in today’s world.
After I had my oldest son, I thought the ideal sibling combo would be to give my son a little sister. I even had a name for her. So, imagine my surprise when I learned that not only would I be having twins, but that both would be boys.
Of course, the comments flooded in, and continue even today:
“Whoa, you must be tired!”
“You’re going to be a soccer mom.”
“So, are you going to try for a girl?”
Moms raising boys, you know what I’m talking about. Whether you’re a boy mom of one or three (or more!), we need to be conscious of bringing up our little ones.
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3 lessons that moms of boys need to teach
I used to think we should disregard gender in parenting. That we feed the fire when we parent according to whether our kids are girls or boys or succumb to the stereotypes.
Since then, I’ve learned that we should teach kids lessons that can arise because of their gender.
Kids are different, and not always in a bad way or in every typical way. We also have to make sure that they’re not bound by stereotypes, and that we’re not perpetuating them ourselves.
Because being a boy mommy means more than just putting up with butt and fart jokes—it’s teaching them values we’d want them to hold even as adults.
So, how can we be more conscious as moms of boys in today’s world? Check out these three important lessons we should teach:
1. Be kind and gentle
Kindness in boys can get lost, especially when we assume or value anything but. We praise their assertiveness, their speed, their ambition—but we don’t always applaud them for their gentle ways or enduring tenderness.
Let’s teach our boys that being kind goes a long way. Let’s bring up boys who:
- Befriend a new classmate
- Care for animals, from pets to insects
- Appreciate nature and all it can offer us
- Comfort a sibling when she feels sad or hurt
- Shows empathy to others
- Have manners at the dinner table
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2. Don’t put girls down
I get it.
The cooties. The inclination for kids to befriend same-sex friends. The phases we all go through when we don’t like girls or boys. But we can do so much more to teach our boys to treat girls well.
Yes, this is a phase many kids seem to go through, but it doesn’t mean we should brush aside inappropriate behavior or comments.
For instance, correct them when they put girls down, however innocently. “Actually, girls are pretty awesome. I’m a girl, after all.” Or refrain from teasing when they befriend a girl in class (“Oooh, is she your girlfriend?”).
All kids go through stages where they behave in a strange way to sort out their feelings and confusion about another sex. As Science Daily reports:
“Scientists have found a signal in the brain that reflects young children’s aversion to members of the opposite sex (the ‘cooties’ effect) and also their growing interest in opposite-sex peers as they enter puberty.”
They might follow social influence and peer pressure. But as moms of boys, we can teach them a different perspective and respect girls despite all that.
3. Explore their interests (whatever they may be)
What’s your typical boy? You might imagine a childhood with lots of trains, trucks, and airplanes. Maybe a boy tinkering with a science kit or finding dead bugs and playing with dirt and mud in the back yard. And of course, sports like soccer, baseball, and hockey.
But what if your son has no interest in any of that? What if his interests are so far away from your own expectations? Whereas you imagined soccer practice, he’d much rather do theater or music. Instead of matchbox cars, he’s interested in dolls.
Or what if his favorite thing seems strange to you, regardless of gender? He’s fascinated with vacuum cleaners or waterfalls or collecting rocks—things you never knew would even interest kids.
Just because you’re a boy mama, that doesn’t mean you have to be a soccer mom or do things boys typically like. Our kids should explore any interest with the full support of their mother’s love. Whether they fit into our expectations or hopes for them.
Allow your boys to be who they are and be curious about their world, even if it doesn’t always fit into typical boy things.
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As a proud mom of boys, it’s exciting and humbling to think about raising a generation of future adults.
Our kids will shape the world, in big ways and small. Let’s raise boys who can be gentle and kind on a regular basis as they are ambitious and strong. Boys who can respect and work with girls. And boys who are free to pursue any passions, no matter how strange or “typically boy” they may be.
Because your boy will be a wonderful young man—even if you’re not a soccer mom.
Get more tips:
- How to Praise Your Child for a Growth Mindset
- How to Raise a Kind Child
- Don’t Say “Good Job!” (and What to Say Instead)
- How to Deal with Gender Disappointment During Your Pregnancy
- Children’s Books about Empathy
And check out A Boy Like You by Frank Murphy, a beautiful children’s book celebrating boys for being who they are:
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